Four fiscal cliffs ahead, and a jobs war

Tuesday, July 10, 2012
By Paul Martin

By Paul B. Farrell
MarketWatch.com
July 10, 2012

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MarketWatch)—Election wars are masking the fiscal cliff that America is destined to drop off in early 2013, warns the Congressional Budget Office. History tells us our politicians will slowly drive America off the fiscal cliff and into a mid-1930s-style sinkhole. Why? Because no matter who’s elected, our dysfunctional government will continue to be driven by secretive super-PAC billionaires obsessed about either holding on to or regaining the presidency in 2016.

America’s fiscal cliff is actually four cliffs. And any one can easily trigger the other three. By 2013 the public will wake up to discover America is still a political war zone facing a recession no politician can solve, igniting further rage with warring politicians and their billionaire buddies.

The fiscal cliff includes four dangerous cliffs:

The health-care cliff: Admit it, it’s a systemic failure. And repealing or tweaking Obamacare won’t stop the hemorrhaging. Costs will keep rising, no matter who’s chief.

The taxes/spending cliff: The CBO says that allowing the Bush-era tax cuts to expire, combined with agreed-upon spending cuts, would reduce GDP by 1.3%. That deal is certain to get renegotiated. But until then, uncertainty, and if politicians just kick the can down the road again, new interest costs will increase the deficit, increasing long-term problems.

The military budget cliff: Do nothing and the Pentagon automatically gets $55 billion cut in 2013, more over the next decade. In addition, Romney’s on record to increase military spending, even as two wars wind down. U.S. Representative Paul Ryan, Republican from Wisconsin, has said the same.

The social programs cliff: Along with military cuts, the same deal negotiated last year included automatic cuts to domestic social-program spending by $492 billion over the next decade. Cuts will intensify stress on the poor and middle-class jobless.

The Rest…HERE

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